West Salem — Weather can play a factor into any outside sporting event whether it be rain, snow, hail, sleet, rain/snow mix, etc., but Tuesday night presented a new type of weather challenge that many fans, media, and players have never experienced…..fog. We aren’t talked like a nice dim fog during a beautiful sunrise, were talking like a you can’t see further than ten to fifteen yards in front of you fog. This presented a challenge to the offensive powerhouse that is West Salem, but the Lady Titans prevailed against Wilson, even if it came with a toned down offensive attack on display.
This one primarily centered around midfield play given that it was difficult to arrange any long passes or develop a play, so the teams had to rely on short passes to work their way to the other side of the field. The scoreless tie featured only one real shot opportunity by West Salem, which was stopped by the Wilson goalkeeper. In the 32nd minute, a free kick by Fatima Jimenez found its way past the goalie for the goal, with the fog throwing off the line of sight on its way into the net, rewarding West Salem with a 1-0 lead in a tight defensive contest. After the half, West Salem began to pick up more possessions in Wilson territory, coming closer after each one to scoring a goal and Fatima Jimenez once again became the go to for that. In the 51st minute, Jimenez sent a cross to the middle that had a shot blocked by Wilson, but the rebound by Jillian Huhn put the Lady Titans up 2-0 and West Salem would coast to another shutout and a state quarterfinal appearance. West Salem plays Sherwood in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 5 PM.
Lady Titans goal scorers Fatima Jimenez and Jillian Huhn talked about the playoff victory in the thick fog conditions…
Fatima Jimenez on the team performance in the foggy conditions, “We pulled through. I think we got a bit of a rough start, but we played as hard as we could and the energy was pretty high.”
Jillian Huhn on the defensive gameplan and fog adjustments, “We had to squeeze in tightly to make sure there were no gaps, and it was just about being ready for anything we might not have seen coming.”